100s detained, tear gas fired: Yellow Vest mayhem hits Paris on 4th weekend

100s detained, tear gas fired: Yellow Vest mayhem hits Paris on 4th weekend (WATCH LIVE)

100s detained, tear gas fired: Yellow Vest mayhem hits Paris on 4th weekend (WATCH LIVE)
French police fired the first batches of tear gas on Saturday as massive crowds of Yellow Vest protesters swarmed into the heart of the capital on the 4th weekend of unrest. Hundreds were detained prior to and at the rally.

The figure was announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. According to him, 481 people were detained by police and 211 remain in custody.

The rally on the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue turned violent right after 10:00 am (local time). Videos from the area show people coughing and sneezing after tear gas canisters were fired into the lines of demonstrators.

Several hours into the protests, trucks armed with water cannon arrived in the heart of the capital.

Dorian_RTFrance@Dorian_RTFrance

Le canon à eau est arrivé avenue alors que des centaines de tentent d’avancer vers l’arc de Triomphe

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The protesters were heard chanting La Marseillaise – the French national anthem – which is sung at almost during every demonstration.

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Elodie Becu@ElodieBecu

“Aux armes citoyens, marchons” , sous les lacrymos, les manifestants entonnent la Marseillaise

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Beefing up its presence, law enforcement also deployed armored vehicles belonging to the French Gendarmerie – the military police. The hardware was stationed right next to the Arc de Triomphe,which last week saw one of the fiercest battles between police and rioters.

 

This is the fourth consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vests protests, with levels of violence between police and demonstrators that has not been seen in decades. Last week, the unrest peaked again, resulting in over 400 arrests. Scores of people were also injured during the heavy-handed police response. Officers also suffered injuries while trying to handle the situation.

The French government says for now it has abandoned the plans for fuel price hikes and a higher tax, which triggered the rallies. The unrest, however, is still far from losing steam. The demonstrators are billing their action on Saturday as “Act IV. Stay on the course” and are demanding more concessions, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage and for some even the resignation of Emmanuel Macron.

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